American Association of University Women (AAUW) American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
American Dissertation Fellowships
Dissertation Fellowships offset a scholar’s living expenses while she completes her dissertation. The fellowship must be used for the final year of writing the dissertation. Applicants must have completed all course work, passed all preliminary examinations, and received approval for their research proposals or plans by the preceding November. Students holding fellowships for writing a dissertation in the year prior to the AAUW fellowships year are not eligible. Open to applicants in all fields of study. Scholars engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math fields or researching gender issues are especially encouraged to apply.
About the Program
The oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowships and grant programs, the American Fellowships program began in 1888, a time when women were discouraged from pursuing an education. Now one of the largest sources of funding for graduate education for women, AAUW has provided more than $115 million to upwards of 13,000 fellows and grantees since awarding its first fellowship to Ida Street, a pioneer in the field of early American Indian history.
Applications are open August 1–November 1
Award Amount: $20,000
November 1, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time: Deadline for online submission of application, recommendations, and supporting documents
April 15, 2020: Notification of decision emailed to all applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.
July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021: Fellowship year
When a deadline or notification date falls on a weekend, the date will be observed on the following business day.
American Fellowships are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants). Members of the AAUW Board of Directors, committees, panels, task forces, and staff, including current interns, are not eligible to apply for AAUW’s fellowships and grants. A person holding a current award is eligible for election or appointment to boards, committees, panels, and task forces.
- American Fellowship candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- American Fellowships are open to women scholars in all fields of study.
- The American Dissertation Fellowship must be used for the final year of writing the dissertation. Applicants must have completed all coursework, passed all preliminary exams, and had the dissertation research proposal or plan approved by November 1, 2019. The doctoral degree/dissertation must be completed between April 1 and June 30, 2021. Degree conferral must be between April 1 and September 15, 2021.
- Dissertation Fellows are not required to study in the U.S.
- Students already holding a fellowship or grant for the purpose of supporting their final year of writing or completing the dissertation the year before the fellowship year are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants may apply up to two times for a fellowship for the same dissertation project.
- The fellowship is intended for applicants who are completing their first doctoral degree.
Criteria for Selection and Application Review
The American Fellowships panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the selection criteria outlined here. The panel’s recommendations are subject to final approval by the AAUW Board of Directors. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year
In selecting fellowship recipients, the following criteria will be considered:
- Applicant’s scholarly excellence
- Quality of project design
- Originality of project
- Scholarly significance of project to the discipline
- Feasibility of project and proposed schedule
- Qualifications of applicant
- Applicant’s commitment to women’s issues in the profession/community
- Applicant’s mentoring of other women
- Applicant’s teaching experience
- Potential of applicant to make a significant contribution to the field
- Applicant is from an underrepresented racial/ethnic background
- Applicant is from an underrepresented area of the country and/or type of university other than a top-level research institution
- Financial Need
The primary criterion for fellowship awards is scholarly excellence. Applications are reviewed by distinguished scholars and should be prepared accordingly.
American Dissertation Fellowships funds are available for:
- Educational expenses
- Living expenses
- Dependent child care
- Travel to professional meetings, conferences, or seminars, as long as it does not exceed 10 percent of the fellowship
American Dissertation Fellowships funds are not available for:
- Purchase of equipment
- Indirect costs
- Research assistants
- Previous expenditures, deficits, or repayment of loans
- Publication costs
- Institutional (overhead) costs
- Tuition for dependent’s education
- Tuition for coursework that is in addition to credits required for maintaining full-time status while completing a dissertation
- Extended field research
An AAUW American Fellow is expected to pursue her project full time during the funding period (July 1–June 30). No partial fellowships are awarded. Fellowships may not be deferred.
Fellows may work up to 15 hours per week, or teach one section of one course per semester or term, with prior written approval from AAUW.
The AAUW American Fellowships stipend must be larger than any other single award or remunerative position received during the fellowship year and must be acknowledged as the major award. Acceptance of concurrent funds of a lesser amount than the AAUW award is permitted but requires prior written approval from AAUW. Dissertation fellows cannot hold concurrent fellowships or grants for the purpose of supporting their final year of writing or completing the dissertation.
Any major changes in plans for the fellowship year must have prior written approval from AAUW.
AAUW must be notified promptly of any change in the status of an application resulting from acceptance of another award.
Stipend checks are made payable to fellows, not to institutions.
Start the application process by clicking on the link to access the application and create an account through our vendor site. Complete all required components in the following tabs.
- Applicants must pass the eligibility quiz to be reviewed by the selection panel.
- Provide three recommenders who are the applicant’s advisers, colleagues, or others well acquainted with her, her project/work, and her teaching. One of the three recommendations must be from the applicant’s dissertation director. Standardized or form letter recommendations are discouraged. AAUW does not accept references from dossier services.
- Transcripts for all graduate work and courses listed in the application.